August 4th, 2011
03:12 PM ET

Virginia Tech lifts alert after report of possible gunman

[Update 3:07 p.m.] Virginia Tech has lifted an alert on campus hours after three youths reported that someone may have had a gun there, according to a post on the school's website.

"There will continue to be a large police presence on campus today," the announcement said. "Police
have not received nor discovered additional information about a person possibly carrying a weapon beyond that reported this morning.

"The university community may resume normal campus activity. Only Blacksburg campus classes have been cancelled today."

[Update 11:16 a.m.] Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum warned students and others to continue to stay indoors as police search for a person who may be carrying a weapon on campus.

Several people have been questioned but police have not apprehended anyone, Flinchum said.

[Update 11:09 a.m.] No one is in custody and the campus safety alert remains in effect, Virginia Tech's campus police chief says.

[Update 10:31 a.m.] Virginia Tech is in lockdown as authorities look for a man three youths said may have had a weapon, possibly a handgun.

The white male was described as having light brown hair and being 6 feet tall and was walking in the direction of a volleyball court. The man was wearing a blue and white striped shirt, gray shorts and brown sandals. He had no glasses or facial hair, according to the report.

[Original post, 10:18 a.m.] Virginia Tech, the site of a 2007 massacre, has issued an alert saying someone is possibly carrying a weapon on campus.

Regular classes aren't in session at the moment, but there is summer school. The university in Blacksburg, Virginia, is asking people on campus to stay inside and secure doors. The person was spotted near Dietrick Dining Hall.

In April 2007, Cho Seung-Hui, 23, shot dead 32 people on campus before killing himself.

Are you on campus? Share your account, but please stay safe.

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Filed under: Crime • Virginia
soundoff (562 Responses)
  1. Tom

    The two most dumbest so call professionals I know to ask the most stupidest of questions, during critical situations,are Anchor/Journalist & 911 operators...along with their buddies the cops...three sets of idiots.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Based on your writing ability, I'd say you're the fourth.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • you don't make sense

      Clearly you are the most smartest of all of us.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Harry from Sand Lake MI

      I bet they would still come help you in an emergency. They don't base their response on the mentality level of the caller.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dee

    Hopefully this is a false alert. As always, I'm am very impressed with the VT's response and the amazing character of the Hookie students and faculty in such stressful times. My thoughts and prayers are with my Hookie friends.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jenn

    Praying for everyone at the campus right now. This has to be super scary – hoax or not, because of what they have already been through. I wish people could stop aruging and beng cynical and just pray for the people at VT.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      You're one of the few sane ones here!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Bob

      And how would chanting mumbo jumbo nonsense to a mythical, invisible being in the sky help any thing?? Get a brain.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott Pilgrim beat The World

      Well Jim Bob, shooting down her beliefs sure isn't being any more helpful, is it? Get a brain yourself.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Debby

      Jim Bob...........since the dawn of time people have prayed to a God. What harm does it do if it gives someone comfort?
      Someone famously said, "there are no atheists in a foxhole!"

      Jenn was just offering compassion and comfort. Why don't YOU grow a brain.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Good2Know

      Praying does nothing, move along. I hope you don't think everyone at the campus is a believer and appreciates you praying for them to a guy sitting in the clouds, judging people.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Griffin

      Obviously, Jim Bob is smarter than anyone who prays to a higher power. I mean, he came out and said so and everything.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • JFF

      @Jim Bob,
      You're the one who needs a brain...and a soul. If you don't have something to direct your faith to, then I hope you enjoy the struggles you go through in life. Jim Bob...get a life, and a new name.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Bob

      People that believe in invisible beings in the sky just aren't right in the head. You all need to seek psychriatric help. It's just ancient mythology. THINK instead of blindly accepting ancient myths as reality. Oh...wait... you need a brain to be able to think.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • El Loco

      @Jim Bob, let Jen be. It's her right to express her self, as it it yours. I'm sure you've tried it at some point. Oh wait, you just did, here in your post! ......"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it"

      August 4, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  4. Brittany

    As just reported on CNN news, they are unsure of whether we receive text message alerts. I will tell you that we do receive them and they are very helpful in situations such as these. Virginia Tech is doing a great job trying to protect their students.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Andrew

    What the above report doesn't tell you is that the students only saw a guy carrying a towel under which they thought ther might be a gun (per alerts from VT). Besides, hardly anyone is on campus now, who would go on a shooting rampage in a very lightly populated area?

    August 4, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • BeerBrewerDan

      And this is right by a construction area. It could be a cloth and a monkey wrench. However, better to be safe, yes?

      August 4, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • VTHokie

      Like my post said, in this community you're required to be on your toes. Maybe if you lived here, where the deadliest school shooting in the history of our country occurred, you would understand. Should we be less worried that there's a potential gunman because there's not as many people here this summer? NO. A potential gunman is a potential gunman, no matter where you are or how many people are around the area. If this ends up being a false alarm, I'll be okay with that. I would rather the university overreact than not take any actions because they thought everything was "fine".

      August 4, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • liz

      There are children's camps and summer classes on campus right now. There may not be as many people as there would be in say, April, but they are still there. It's still a pretty serious situation. College Campus's dont shut down in the summer as do public elemetary schools, etc.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. John

    Hey OBAMA...want to save the debt crisis!!!!....Let's get rid of all the cops....we can all carry guns and enforce the law ourselves!!!!!! You can save billions!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Bob

      It's Republicans that want smaller government. That means state and local too. So yeah, lets lay off all the cops and firemen. That'll save us a bundle in taxes!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • C

      John there's a Utopia for you where the weather is nice and guns flow freely. It's a magical place. It's called... Somalia.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mr. Safety says...

    Mr. Safety says......if the lunatic didn't have a gun, then 32 people would be alive today. The fact is, morons like Chatleton Heston and those upstanding folks at the NRA have brainwashed y'all into thinking that the "right to bear arms" means that everyone should "pack heat" to feel safe. I say change the spelling to "right to bare arms", and let everyone walk around in short sleeve shirts.....less places to hide a should listen to Mr. Safety.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • duh

      u r an idiot

      August 4, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Tman

      The men and women of the NRA are not brainwashing people into thinking you have to "pack heat". What they are doing is fighting for our rights as free citizens of the united states. You have the right to own or carry a gun not the obligation, and the NRA would agree with that. I have my concealed license and I don't carry to feel safe, I carry because I can as a free citizen of the united states. Without honest and responsible citizens "packing heat" the only ones that would be walking around with guns are going to be dishonest and irresponsible (criminals). And they will have guns no matter what kind of gun control is implemented. You don't like guns, I get it, but remember, one of those "morons" may save your life someday. What happened at vt was horrible, if one of those "morons" (i would call them responsible concealed license holders) packing heat were there things may have been different.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. us1776

    The guy probably had a tennis racket with a towel thrown over it.

    Is someone's imagination running wild?


    August 4, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. JJMac

    I wonder if they established left and right will try to blame the Tea Party for the 4th straight time? They will do anything to prevent Ron Paul from winning the 2012 GOP nomination.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Who Me

      You should spit, you are obviously gargling.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Filmore

    Can we get some source confirmation from journalists please? Three *juveniles* at a camp on campus saw a man with *something under a cloth* which may or may not have been a handgun.

    Investigative journalism is dead.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • HFC

      I know, right? CNN has several reporters staffed at VT, why don't they go find out what happened. CNN also has someone hiding in every household, so they will always be able to get the information you want, Filmore.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • sumunownguy

      This is CNN, moron. What do you expect?

      August 4, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    I hope this isn't a case of three stupid kids lying to see what would happen. I also don't want there to be an actual gunman on campus, but I hope these kids didn't falsely report something they "cooked up".

    August 4, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • LEL MN

      Nah. Just three stupid kids.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Edward Lee

    Look for this to be blamed on either Bush or the Tea Party very soon.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. nopcspokenhere

    Hey ship them up here –I'll buy them and give them away for nothing, just like the empty suit is giving away my country! Great job media, did you post Joe's calling people like me a 'terrorist' . CNN you are so sad!

    August 4, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. schwob

    SGT J, your info is completely false. There is overwhelming evidence that crime is reduced after states enact concealed carry laws. The liberal media would like us to believe otherwise but it is simply not true. There is also ample evidence of crime getting worse in places where gun bans have been enacted such as the UK and Australia.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Bob

      Totally false. Where is your evidence? Give us a link to any real study that supports your ignorant view. The UK, Canada, France etc. etc. have FAR lower crime rates than we have here, due to their sane gun control laws.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      IDEA:...Let's keep the guns....BAN PEOPLE!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. PaintersEdge


    Lol. Couldn't have put it better myself

    August 4, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
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